Miami Alimony Attorney
Alimony is a form of support paid by one spouse to another. Alimony is not appropriate in every divorce case. One spouse must have a need for alimony and the other spouse must have the ability to pay alimony.
Whether you are seeking or opposing an alimony award in your divorce, the Miami alimony attorneys at Foster•Morales Sockel•Stone have the knowledge, skill and experience to represent your interests and help you achieve a fair outcome that meets your needs.
Different Kinds of Alimony in Florida
According to Florida law on alimony, there are several different types of alimony (also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance) which may be granted in a divorce. The different types of alimony in Florida are:
Bridge-the-Gap Alimony – This type of alimony can be awarded to allow one party to transition from being married to being single and is designed to assist a spouse with legitimate identifiable short term needs. The length of a Bridge-the-Gap alimony award may not exceed 2 years.
Rehabilitative Alimony – This form of alimony may be awarded to assist a party in establishing the capacity for self-support through education, training, work experience, employment skills or credentials.
Durational Alimony – Durational alimony is alimony that is awarded for a certain length of time, as deemed appropriate by the court, but cannot exceed the length of the marriage.
Permanent Alimony – Permanent alimony may be awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage to a spouse who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs and necessities. Permanent alimony is most likely to be granted in a marriage that lasted 17 years or more. There is a higher burden of proof on a spouse requesting permanent alimony in a marriage that was greater than 7 years and less than 17 years. Permanent alimony is only awarded in exceptional circumstances for marriages of 7 years or less.
How Alimony is Determined by Florida Courts
Once the court finds that one spouse has a need for alimony and the other spouse has the ability to pay alimony, the judge will consider the following factors in determining the type of alimony to award, the length of the alimony award and the amount of alimony to award:
- The standard of living established during the marriage,
- The duration of the marriage,
- The age, physical and emotional condition of each party,
- The financial resources of each party, including the nonmarital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each,
- The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment,
- The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party,
- The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common,
- The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award,
- All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party,
- Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
- It is up to the spouses, through their attorneys, to provide evidence and arguments to the court regarding these factors. With years of experience handling a wide variety of divorce cases, our attorneys can prepare and present the strongest case possible to support your position regarding alimony.
Expert Legal Assistance in Florida Alimony Matters
For expert advice and assistance regarding alimony in your Florida divorce, contact Foster•Morales Sockel•Stone in Miami to schedule an appointment with a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist.